Interview: Nubian Skin founder, Ade Hassan

Nubian Skin was founded in 2014 by Ade Hassan thereby challenging the way the term ‘nude’ was applied in the lingerie industry to mean  ‘beige’, broadening it to reflect all skin tones. With an MBE under her belt and the likes of Beyoncé and model Jordan Dunn as fans of the brand, we chatted to the lady herself to find out what we can expect next…

What inspired you to create Nubian Skin?

Nubian Skin was essentially created out of my own frustration of not being able to find what I wanted in shops. I realised I couldn’t be the only one who felt this way, so I decided it was time for ‘A Different Kind of Nude’. Our business aims to empower women and embrace our colour, so that is at the heart of everything we do.

What was it like to be awarded an MBE?

As the owner of a small, independent brand, it is an incredible validation of my goal of empowering women. Embracing our colour. I feel so fortunate and am very grateful for all the people who have supported my vision and Nubian Skin and made it what it is today.  I haven’t really processed what it means yet, but it does make me more determined than ever to keep working hard at keeping my dream going.

I had never imagined that I would receive an MBE. I still to this day do not know who it was that nominated me!

Nubian Skin has built up quite a following, what was the initial reaction to your brand on social media?

It’s been incredible from day one. We launched one of our campaign images on Instagram and we went from 50 followers to 20,000 followers in the first few weeks! It’s been wonderful to see how supportive so many women have been, and it’s amazing to get emails from women across the world just saying, ‘thank you’.

Beyoncé wore your products on her Formation World Tour last year, how did that feel?

It is unbelievable to have an artist like Beyoncé choose to wear Nubian Skin as the base for her costumes on the Formation Tour. Beyoncé is a global phenomenon, and the fact that her team knows about our brand and have selected it is testament to the work we’re trying to do. It is such validation to see a squad of beautiful, brown women and know that Nubian Skin has a product which is allowing them to express that diversity to perfection.

It’s difficult to top Beyoncé wearing our lingerie, but I would love Michelle Obama or Oprah to wear our brand.

Is it important for you to use models of all different shapes and sizes?

I think representation is incredibly important. Seeing someone who looks like you in a magazine, or online is a very empowering thing. We use women of different shapes and sizes because we want women to be able to see themselves in our products.

We’re working on some new styles, so hopefully we’ll have the perfect bra for even more body types. We may even add more shades in the future, too.

Representation is incredibly important. Seeing someone that looks like you and represents you is so empowering.

What makes the perfect lingerie?

It’s having something that makes you feel comfortable, confident and happy but every woman needs a good fitting nude bra, and an invisible pair of nude briefs.

From bodysuits, to the fuller bust naked bra and high waist brief, Nubian Skin has all the underwear solutions for darker skin tones.

Harriet Davey

As a fashion editor and stylist for many publications and brands, Harriet is here to deliver exciting fashion news and interviews, discuss the latest trends and collections and be on hand for endless style inspiration.